State senator Randy Laverty says he plans to offer a bill next session
Medical Marijuana is used widely in more than a dozen states
One proposed bill would allow the possession of 12 ounces of pot for licensed users
They are sisters, brothers and even grandmothers. And soon your fellow Arkansans might be allowed to smoke medical marijuana.
Monday, a group called Arkansans for Medical Cannabis released a proposed bill to legalize the use of medical marijuana.
It would allow the possession of 12 ounces of pot, or six plants for everyone with a proper prescription.
"For those people who have chronic pain or those people who have suppressed appetites," says State senator Randy Laverty.
Laverty knows about chronic pain. Ten months ago, he received a new liver, the transplant considered the best way to treat his liver cancer.
Laverty was given narcotics for his pain, and he understands why some would choose a more organic option.
But whether the bill from Arkansans for Medical Cannabis will be the actual proposed legislation remains to be seen.
Laverty says, "We won't preclude or exclude other ideas or other pieces of quote model, unquote legislation. But what I really hope to do is to assemble policy makers, you know, other people who are willing to invest some political capital in seeing if this is the right thing to do."
Medical marijuana operations in some states have been criticized as retail outlets for a black market product.
Stores in Montana were firebombed this week, with "not in our town" painted on the walls
But Laverty says allowing patients in chronic pain relief without narcotics only makes sense, especially to a man who knows chronic pain himself.
Laverty says, "I think the people of Arkansas deserve the benefit of this discourse. This is a debate that I think should take place."